Greater Budapest 70 Years Old

January 2, 2020

Passed on December 20, 1949 and come into force on January 1, 1950, Law No. XXVI of 1949 attached seven towns and 16 villages to the former Budapest, creating Greater Budapest, enlarging its area from 207 km² to 525 km² (by 54%). Thus, the number of the Hungarian capital’s inhabitants increased from 1.058 million to 1.589 million (by 52%), and the number of the districts was augmented from 14 to 22. Enlarged at the initiative of architect Gábor Preisich, the city became the seventh largest metropolis of Europe 70 years ago.

According to a statement by Budapest Archives, it was an important consideration for Greater Budapest to develop independent cells and city units with their own cultural life. Contemporary concepts would have separated the densely built-up downtown area from the suburban outer districts with a green ring formed by the Városliget (City Park, the Horse Racing Ground, the Kerepesi Cemetery and the Népliget (People’s Park) and would not have allowed large housing estates to be located near the city limits. This latter idea did not materialize.

Compared to 1950, Inner Budapest saw its number of inhabitants decrease (by some 10%) while the former suburb's population increased. In the 1960s, neighboring villages became the new suburbs (second suburban belt) with rapidly increasing population (from 1950 to 2009, these former villages and small towns population increased from 300,000 to nearly 800,000). Suburbanization and motorization generated traffic jams on urban multi-lane highways. Nowadays, a million cars run in Budapest on an average weekday. (source: MTI and Wikipedia)


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